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Wage Dispute Attorneys

Wage disputes can come in many forms. If you’re looking for an experienced team of Wage Dispute Lawyers to handle your employment law case, contact Heidari Law Group today for a free case evaluation.

Boss handing employee peanuts for pay

What happens when your employer denies to pay you for your hours worked? What happens when your employer pays you weeks later than what was originally promised? States have workplace and wage laws in place to ensure that employees are paid fairly. Many employees are unaware of their rights in the workplace, and some are afraid to ask for just compensation for fear of employer retaliation. Workplace laws have numerous exceptions and requirements that must be met, and pursing a wage dispute claim should be done by working with an experienced wage dispute lawyer. A wage dispute is a disagreement an employer and employee have in regards to how much the employee should be paid. Payments could include benefits, wages, and severance.

Employers must abide by the Fair Labor and Standard Act (FLSA). The FLSA regulates how much the minimum wage and overtime wage would be. Employers must abide to both federal law and state law. When the two laws are contradicting each other, they must abide to the highest pay. For example, if the minimum wage on the federal level is $9, but the state requires it to be $10, then the employer must abide by the highest number. The employee’s wages would then be $10.

Types of Disputes

There are two common types of disputes:

  1. Rights disputes: this occurs when the employee is claiming the workplace needs to include better working conditions. This involves expectation of fair working conditions, along with fair employment practices.
  2. Interest disputes: this dispute is a disagreement between employee and employer regarding the finances the employee is to receive. This would include vacation days, lunch break, hourly pay, etc.

Company Size

Wage disputes can arise in any type of employment. The employer company does not need to have a specific number of employees, no employer is exempt from wage and labor laws. All employers are mandated to have a program in place that documents when employees arrive and leave work.


The three types of wage and hour laws that exist for employees are:

  1. Wage: This is the amount an employee is paid hourly. The minimum wage is the least amount an employee could get paid, and the number increases annually.
  2. Breaks: Under California law, employees are allowed a 30-minute unpaid break for every five hours worked.
  3. Overtime: All employers must pay their employees overtime wages. The number is determined by multiplying the regular hourly wage by an hour and a half. Overtime hours are hours beyond the 40-hour work week for full time employees.

Common Types of Wage Disputes

  1. When an employee works overtime, and their employer refuses to pay them.
  2. When an employee considered an “independent contractor” is denied compensation.
  3. When employees are treated as “on call” and are not compensated for that time.
  4. When employees are paid the minimum wage set by the state.
    1. In California, the minimum wage is $14.00
    2. In Nevada, the minimum wage is $8.00
  5. When an employee is refused pay because they have been classified as an “exempt” employee.
  6. When an employee is refused pay because they took the work home and completed it at home.
  7. When a former employee is not paid their severance.
  8. When an employee is declined their mandated lunch break.

We represent a variety of employees in wage dispute claims throughout California, including (but not limited to):

  1. Those who are self employed
  2. High level executives
  3. Employees (hourly and salary)
  4. Laborers

Exempt and Nonexempt Employees

Many employees do not know what they are classified as. Employees are either exempt or nonexempt in California. Nonexempt employees are those who could receive overtime and meal breaks. Exempt employees are those are paid twice the minimum wage, and do not receive overtime or breaks. Exempt employees are not subject to many labor laws. Types of exempt employees include independent contractors. Sometimes, employers classify a nonexempt attorney is exempt to prevent paying for overtime even though the employee is not making double the minimum wage.

To qualify as an exempt, the employee must

  1. Exercise their own independent judgment throughout the scope of their work. This is determined by looking at if the employee is under supervision. An exempt employee makes high level decisions that impact one or more employees.
  2. Earn a salary of at least twice the minimum wage. In California, an exempt employees must receive at least $54,080 for large scale employers. For small businesses, an exempt employee must receive $49,920.
    1. To determine if your employer has misclassified you, look at the salary. If the salary is less than the above, then you are most likely misclassified by your employer, and should seek legal help.
  3. Be engaged in administrative duties

Wrongful Termination

Many employees are scared of bringing a dispute claim against their employer for fear of retaliation. There are several laws in place that ensure an employer does not retaliate against an employee. An employee could pursue another claim if the employer retaliates in any way. Different types of retaliation include:

  1. Decreasing the working hours of the employee for no good cause
  2. Transferring the employee to another location without good cause
  3. Firing the employee
  4. Failing to continue to provide wage payments

This depends on a case-by-case basis. Our attorneys will review each case independently and determine the merit of the claim.

When seeking advice from an attorney, it is advised to have specific information at hand, which include (but are not limited to):

  1. The date the dispute started
  2. The names, positions and contact information of parties involved
  3. The last day you worked
  4. Employment contract
  5. Place of employment

Unemployment Benefits

If you are not working, and are currently going through a labor dispute with your employer, many states stop paying unemployment benefits until the dispute is sorted. It depends on the state.

Oftentimes, employers would not want to spend months in trial, and so labor disputes end in settlement offers. To better determine if you have a valid wage dispute claim against your employer for unpaid wages, contact our experienced attorneys at Heidari Law Group today. We have attorneys in major cities, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Fresno, and Irvine. If you or a loved one have been denied compensation for hours worked, you may be eligible for compensation to recover damages owed to you. If you believe you have been cheated out of getting your hard-earned money, our labor dispute attorneys may be able to get back pay, along with liquidated damages for your unpaid hours.

Call our office at 1 (833) 224 5454 to schedule a free consultation.

***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

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